Get Your Torture On
Ask anyone who has been a prisoner of war, or an enemy combatant, or someone who gets repeatedly trapped in that same, endless drunken conversation with his old college friend who insists that he's going to "die alone": torture is no laughing matter.
Until now that is.
Last month Time Magazine released the full interrogation log of suspected "20th hijacker," Mohammad al-Qahtani. The log, consisting of 83 pages of flowery prose (not!), is chock full of insight into just how your tax dollars are at work down there at Guantanamo Bay.
(Taxes due Monday by the way. You're welcome.)
I'll say one thing: this is not easy reading. First of all, it's 83 pages, small type, very repetitive, and no discernible narrative arc. Second of all, 20th hijacker or not, some of the shit that this guy is subjected to is harsh. Really, unless you have yellow ribbons so far up your ass that they are now fighting for space in your brain, you can't read this and not have some sympathy for the poor fucker.
But I'm not going to kill your pre-weekend buzz with such gravitas. If there's anything I've learned from decades of morning drive radio, it's that Friday is time to get wacky. And wacky we will get.
We start on p.19,
Control began “birthday party” and placed party hat on detainee. Detainee offered birthday cake - refused. Interrogators and guards sing “God bless America”. Detainee became very angry.
Birthday party? Cake? Singing? What's to get angry about? Oh, because it's in the context of being tortured by your infidel captors?! Got it.
Detainee ate one Hostess Cupcake with interrogation team.
[Scene: somewhere in the White House, late 2001]
Dubya: How are we going to finance this war?
Rumsfeld: Two words, sir: product placement.
Dubya: Brilliant, Rummy, brilliant.
Interrogators ran puppet show satirizing the detainee’s involvement with Al Qaida.
For those that want to play at home.
Corpsman checked vitals – O.K. Christina Aguilera music played.
I would have picked Frampton Comes Alive, but hey, it's your torture gig not mine.
Interrogation team enter the booth and started talking about how glad they were that he was back and that they would have a BBQ in his honor. When the detainee stated that he would not want any of that food, the interrogators told him that the BBQ wasn’t for him, it was for everyone else.
Ah, the ol' "You Mistakenly Thought We Were Going to Have a BBQ in Your Honor" move. A timeless classic.
The lead held the coffee in front of the detainee and when the detainee reached for the coffee, the interrogator poured the coffee on the floor. The detainee seemed to be mad at the interrogators for the remainder of the shift.
Wow, ya think?
In order to escalate the detainee’s emotions, a mask was made from an MRE box with a smiley face on it and placed on the detainee’s head for a few moments. A latex glove was inflated and labeled the “sissy slap” glove. This glove was touched to the detainee’s face periodically after explaining the terminology to him. The mask was placed back on the detainee’s head. While wearing the mask, the team began dance instruction with the detainee.
Not even sure what to say about that one.
He also appeared to be very annoyed by the use of his mother and sister as examples of prostitutes and whores.
Hmmm, yeah, understandable I guess.
Detainee expresses great ignorance about dinosaurs and space, topics that are taught in U.S. grade schools. Detainee asked interrogator if the sun revolved around the earth.
Well, those aren't exactly ideal testing conditions. Imagine trying to take the GREs while the proctor dumps your coffee on the floor and then talks about how he fucks your mom. Oh, and Christina Aguilera is blaring in the background. Not easy is my guess.
Torture, it's a complicated issue. I'd get into it more, but I just got back into town and my friends want to throw me a BBQ.
Have a good weekend. And, uh, stay out of trouble.
[Time - Detainee 063: A Broken Man?]
[Time - Complete Interrogation Log]